History of the U.S.S. LAFITTE NX-8735
The U.S.S. Lafitte was a Montgomery Class Starship; a secret test bed design for the future Galaxy Class Starship.
The Lafitte is in a class all her own. Typically, the design process of a Starfleet ship is that a ship is designed, built, tested and christened. This wasn’t the case with the Lafitte. Starfleet Command had concerns that the Galaxy Class project was too lofty a goal. At the time, it was the biggest starship design project ever at Starfleet Command. The decision was made to create a special class that would resemble the final version of the Galaxy Class. By melding current technology with parts from stripped, decommissioned starships, Starfleet would create the Montgomery Class. This class was named in honor of Captain Montgomery Scott who helped Starfleet flesh out the problems they were having in the initial design of the Galaxy Class. Construction of the Montgomery started in 2325 above Utopia Plantia shipyard. In 2332 the U.S.S. Montgomery NX-8734 was launched.
Debriefing U.S.S. Montgomery NX-8734:
Four months after the launch of the Montgomery, its first deep space tests would begin. First on the list was the new experimental Warp Core. Upon testing, the Montgomery and her crew would return to the shipyards for her final fitting out and official assignment. The shakedown area for the Montgomery was just outside our solar system within striking distance from Pluto survey station number 1. On an early Thursday morning the final tests would begin. The Montgomery under the command of Captain Christopher Hawk contacted Engineering and gave the order at 0740 to begin the startup routine for the new warp core. Engineer Folson contacted the bridge and informed them the new warp core was accepting the correct matter/Antimatter mix. The core was initiated. At 0920 hours after all diagnostics were confirmed, the core was ready for full testing. The Captain ordered a full warp speed static test, standard startup, and initialization. Upon startup engineering contacted the bridge and said there was a problem with the matter/antimatter containment system. The main computer came online stating a core breach was in progress 10 minutes to core breach. Engineer Folson and his staff frantically tried to prevent the breach, but there was nothing they could do. The captain ordered engineering to eject the core but at the time the new ejection systems were not responding. Even the backups had failed. With only minutes to spare the Captain ordered all personnel to the shuttle bays and the rest of the skeleton crew to the saucer section. The captain then initiated an emergency Saucer separation. Before this time no other federation starship had performed this function. The Montgomery’s general order number one was to protect the ship at all costs. Captain Hawk then gave the order to proceed with full thrusters and make orbit around Pluto. The ships core had 8 minutes before destruction but due to an unknown problem on board accelerated. Only 1 minute after the separation the Montgomery succumbed to the massive explosion and all hands on the Saucer section were lost. It was determined that an unknown undetectable fault in the dilitium chamber caused the antimatter/Matter imbalance. The emergency warp core ejection system was not found to have a problem. Under further investigation it was determined that someone on board the Montgomery sabotaged the ejection systems and the new warp core. In total 115 officers and crew members died. Only one shuttle craft made it off the Montgomery but was never found. According to Starfleet intelligence an unknown spy was put aboard the ship and caused her destruction. All records pertaining to the USS Montgomery are now classified upon the request of Starfleet Command.
After the destruction of the Montgomery, Starfleet decided to proceed with the Montgomery project to continue the research needed to complete the ongoing Galaxy Class project. While the Montgomery was completed a second ship was in the planning stages and was to be ready for rapid construction in case of any catastrophic disasters. This space frame and ship would later be known as the USS Lafitte NX-8735. She would be commissioned a Montgomery Class Starship and launched 7 years after the destruction of the USS Montgomery. Construction began in 2333 and she was launched 7 years later in 2340.
While in space dock at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards, in orbit of Mars, rests another ship under initial construction, (space frame only) the soon to be named USS Galaxy the prototype of the new Galaxy Class Starships.
The U.S.S. Lafitte was launched 6 years before the initial construction of the new U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D
The Year is 2340, 32 years before the launch of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D.
The Lafitte was assigned to a remote part of the Beta Quadrant under strict orders to keep the ship and crew out of site. Her primary mission was to test all the new systems and warp drive and relay that information back to Starfleet Command, to be implemented into the future Galaxy Class Starship.